From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 27: Feminism and the Female Author: The Not So Silent Career of the Woman Scenarist in Hollywood—1896–1930 by Donna R. Casella

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 27: Feminism and the Female Author: The Not So Silent Career of the Woman Scenarist in Hollywood—1896–1930 by Donna R. Casella

From The

In Of With Their Heads! A Serio-Comic Tale of Hollywood, scenarist Frances Marion speaks of her attempts to secures writing job in Hollywood ma reputable salary, particularly of her encounter with Fox who couldn’t understand why she would want to write. “Listen, cuteness, don’t try to be a foolish somebody. Nobody cares nothing about female writer,” She kept pestering him until he offered her a job as a staff writer for $80 a week. She then went across town to William A. Brady’s office at World Film Company and pushed her way in at $200 a week stating in her autobiography, “it’s about time the writers got on the gravy train.. It was the teens, the early days of scenario writing in Hollywood. Anita Loos was a staff writer at Biograph where she was paid by the story, eventually earning $200 a piece. Gene Gunder was acting and writing scenarios for Kalem, then her own company, Gene Gauntier Feature Film Company, and eventually Universal. Jeanie Macpherson was beginning along and prolific partnership with director Cecil B. DeMille. Grace Cunard was taming out and acting in action-packed serials at Universal. Arid by the end of the decade, June Mathis, a regular scenarist at Metro, was chief of their script department. Women did not struggle to be a part of the growing industry of scenario writing in its early days, for women dominated the industry, and women like Marion, Loos, Mathis and Macpherson were among the most successful scenarists finale on female) in film history.’


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Learn More About the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting with this Open House Session [Video]

Thanks to the wonderful women of the Stephens College advancement office who arranged a Virtual Open House for our MFA.

This gave us the chance to meet potential students (and a few who had already been accepted) and answer questions about how the program operates.

It’s always fun to engage with people and share our enthusiasm about the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and nowadays part of the fun of Zooming is checking out other folks’ backgrounds whether they are virtual (are they using the TARDIS of the Golden Gate Bridge) or their real office bookshelves. (Hey – I have that same book on my bookshelf!).

If you have any questions that weren’t answered during this Open House, send them directly to me at rwelch@stephens.edu and I’ll be glad to answer them.

Learn More About the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting with this Open House Session [Video]

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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 26: Adela St. Johns, . The Honeycomb. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969.

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 26: Adela St. Johns, . The Honeycomb. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1969.

“At eighteen I must have been regarded as a woman, writes the author in this colorful memoir, for I was one of the first women reporters, maybe as an all-around police beat, sports, sin and society reporter the first in the world.” “Although she chose what was considered a man’s career, she never forgot that she was a woman, and in her recollections, she also finds time to discuss her youghful flirtations, her bittersweet marriage to Ike St. Johns, a profound love affair, her difficulties with being simultaneously a wife, mother and coreer woman, as well as more serious personal problems. The result is a blockbuster of a story which catches the reader up in its drama and excitement and involves him in a personal confrontation with the events.” — Amazon


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 25 : Garson Kanin, a Writer and Director of Classic Movies and Plays, Is Dead at 86

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 25 : Garson Kanin, a Writer and Director of Classic Movies and Plays, Is Dead at 86

From The

Garson Kanin, who broke into show business as a saxophone-playing high school dropout and went on to write ”Born Yesterday,” direct ”The Diary of Anne Frank” and become the co-writer of two classic Tracy-Hepburn movies, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 86.

He died after a lengthy illness, according to a spokeswoman for the family. His wife, the actress Marian Seldes, whom he married in 1990, was with him.

In a life filled with work — ”I become physically ill if I don’t work for three days,” he once said — Mr. Kanin wrote or directed 32 plays, acted in 8, worked on 29 films and wrote more than a dozen books of fiction and nonfiction, as well as hundreds of short stories and articles that were translated into numerous languages.

Read From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 25 : Garson Kanin, a Writer and Director of Classic Movies and Plays, Is Dead at 86


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 24 : Obituary: Jan Zilliacus. Independent. Pub. Monday, May 31, 1999, Kevin Brownlow

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 24 : Obituary: Jan Zilliacus. Independent. Pub. Monday, May 31, 1999, Kevin Brownlow

From The

JAN ZILLIACUS was the daughter of the pioneer American film director Laurence Trimble, owner of Jean, the Vitagraph dog, who won international fame long before Rin-Tin-Tin.

“Father wanted six boys and all he got was this miserable girl,” she said. “So he treated me like a boy. He gave me no quarter at all. I was breaking horses at the age of 10 and 11. I was very strong. I didn’t go to school properly – I had tutors from time to time. But somebody had to be chased by wolves, and the actresses didn’t like the idea.”

Read Obituary: Jan Zilliacus. Independent. Pub. Monday, May 31, 1999


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 23: Satire and Melodrama in a Newspaper Play Entitled “Clear All Wires”, New York Times

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 23: Satire and Melodrama in a Newspaper Play Entitled “Clear All Wires”, New York Times

From The

With the perspiring assistance of Thomas Mitchell, who acts like a steam locomotive, the Spewacks have tossed another one of those melodramatic lampoons at the newspaper profession in “Clear All Wires,” put on at the Times Square last evening. It is brisk, noisy, extravagant and funny in “The Front Page” and “Broadway” tradition. 


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 22: Latitude in Mass-Produced Culture’s Capital: New Women and Other Players in Hollywood, 1920-1941

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 22: Latitude in Mass-Produced Culture’s Capital: New Women and Other Players in Hollywood, 1920-1941

From The

When Your Urge’s Mauve, [go to] the Cafe Intemational on Sunset Boulevard. The location offered supper, drinks, and the ability to watch boy-girls who necked and sulked and little girl customers who … look like boys.

The 1940 guidebook How to Sin in Hollywood offered tourists this description of a commercial establishment that they could see when they visited the Holly-wood area. On the opposite page, a cartoon featured two women in tuxedos above the caption “the little girl customers.”‘ One smoked a cigar and both wore prominent lipstick The description and cartoon presented images of women in the Los Angeles area who defied the culture’s gender and sexual norms.


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 21: The Progressive Silent Film List

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 21: The Progressive Silent Film List

From The

The Progressive Silent Film List is a growing online collection of information on more than 23,400 silent and sound films produced from 1888 through the end of 1929. Selected silent films produced in other countries after 1929 are also listed.

The Progressive Silent Film List listings are accessed through the filmographies and indexes provided below, or you may use Google to SEARCH the entire Silent Era website, including the PSFL listings.


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 20: Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir by Sheri Chinen Biesen

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 20: Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir by Sheri Chinen Biesen

Challenging conventional scholarship placing the origins of film noir in postwar Hollywood, Sheri Chinen Biesen finds the genre’s roots firmly planted in the political, social, and material conditions of Hollywood during the war. After Pearl Harbor, America and Hollywood experienced a sharp cultural transformation that made horror, shock, and violence not only palatable but preferable. Hard times necessitated cheaper sets, fewer lights, and fresh talent; censors as well as the movie-going public showed a new tolerance for sex and violence; and female producers experienced newfound prominence in the industry.

Biesen brings prodigious archival research, accessible prose, and imaginative insights to both well-known films noir of the wartime period―The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and Double Indemnity―and others often overlooked or underrated―Scarlet Street, Ministry of Fear, Phantom Lady, and Stranger on the Third Floor.

Read more


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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 19: Algonquin Round Table Web Site

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Archives 19: Algonquin Round Table Web Site

From The

“Don’t think I’m not incoheret.” — Harold Ross

This site is an extension of the research for The Algonquin Round Table New York: A Historical Guide by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, foreword by Anthony Melchiorri. Published by Lyons Press, Hardcover, Dec. 2014, ISBN: 978-1-4930-0757-8.

“That is the thing about New York,” wrote Dorothy Parker in 1928. “It is always a little more than you had hoped for. Each day, there, is so definitely a new day.”

Now you can journey back there, in time, to a grand city teeming with hidden bars, luxurious theaters, and dazzling skyscrapers.

Read more


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